Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review: Summer of the Dead by Julia Keller

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Aug. 26 2014)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English

Book Description

High summer in Acker's Gap, West Virginia—but no one's enjoying the rugged natural landscape. Not while a killer stalks the small town and its hard-luck inhabitants. County prosecutor Bell Elkins and Sheriff Nick Fogelsong are stymied by a murderer who seems to come and go like smoke on the mountain. At the same time, Bell must deal with the return from prison of her sister, Shirley—who, like Bell, carries the indelible scars of a savage past.

In Summer of the Dead, the third Julia Keller mystery chronicling the journey of Bell Elkins and her return to her Appalachian hometown, we also meet Lindy Crabtree—a coal miner's daughter with dark secrets of her own, secrets that threaten to explode into even more violence.

Acker's Gap is a place of loveliness and brutality, of isolation and fierce attachments—a place where the dead rub shoulders with the living, and demand their due.

About the Author

Julia was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia. She graduated from Marshall University, then later earned a doctoral degree in English Literature at Ohio State University.

She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and has taught at Princeton and Ohio State Universities, and the University of Notre Dame. She is an essayist for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. In 2005, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.

Julia lives in a high-rise in Chicago and a stone cottage on a lake in rural Ohio.

My Review

Summer of the Dead is the third installment in this incredible series by Julia Keller. Bell Elkins is a fascinating character who we get to know better with each book. Her sister Shirley is out of that a good or bad thing?

West Virginia is brought to life with Julia Keller's haunting words. Acker's Gap, West Virginia is gritty and rough and desperate...just like most of its inhabitants. It is world being pulled down by poverty and prescription drug abuse. And in the heat of summer you can feel the desperation of the people. When murders are added to the mix, people are more on edge than is imaginable. 

Bell Elkins, the prosecutor in Acker's Gap is reeling from the cancellation of her daughter's trip home to spend the summer with her. She is getting used to Shirley living with her. She has this overwhelming need to interfere in Shirley's life. Can she ever compensate Shirley for saving her in their childhood? Can she let Shirley make her own mistakes...

Young Lindy smart...her future could hold so much being dragged down by her father's dementia. And by evil outside sources she doesn't even know are plotting against her. 

The scene is set for a tension-filled tale that you cannot stop reading. I couldn't put it down. Julia Keller is an amazing writer and storyteller. The author gets better with each book in this series. Love the twist-filled conclusion. If you have not read this series, then you need to. Highly recommend Summer of the Dead.

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